We all have moments of doubt and fear. Doubts about whether or not we are on the right path. Fears that we aren’t doing enough – for our children, for ourselves, for our communities, for our families. I’m not ready to discuss every reason why yet, but this year has forever changed what I complain about, fear, and doubt. It’s unbelievable what I, and most people, take for granted. But, it is even more unbelievable how many things change when you gain a new perspective. Sometimes this is a good thing, but sometimes it gets confusing.
You would think that my new view on life means that I don’t sweat the little inconsequential things like getting older, yet for a short time last month I experienced an unexpected sense of anxiety about turning 35. I understood intellectually that 35 is young. That I am in my prime. That I am blessed to have my children and that I have no regrets about my path in life. But, it seems that my new perspective actually made me more fearful of the unknowns that come into play as you age. And these unknowns scare the hell out of me.
I wish I had all the answers. I wish I could say that I have a good perspective on everything, but this is not true. I still struggle with gaining perspective as a mother and a wife. Perspective is a simple enough concept, but it’s hard to remember, especially when we are in the middle of a situation.
When I get frustrated with my oldest son for not communicating enough, or the six-year-old for ignoring my repeated requests to clean-up his toys, or my daughter for fighting me about her wardrobe, or the baby for biting yet another child for my attention it’s hard not to feel defeated. It’s hard not to feel ganged up on or like I am doing something wrong. But, what helps is breathing and trying to remember how blessed I am to have four healthy, loving, well-adjusted children in my life and to remember that what is happening is normal.
Perhaps this is why I love the world of social media and blogging. Through the words and voices of other people I learn that my struggles and complaints are really commonplace. Mothers across the globe are dealing with the same struggles. In fact, mothers are facing much harder struggles. My everyday gripes pale in comparison to the mothers caring for terminally ill children, or mothers without access to simple medications we take for granted, or mothers searching for food to feed their children, or a place to call home. And this is happening here in the United States. Imagine what mothers in third world countries struggle with everyday.
I am not saying that everyday doubts and fears are trivial. Or that I’m not allowed to get frustrated or dip my toe into the pool of self-pity from time-to-time, or even freak out about turning 35. I am saying that when you take the time to see the whole picture, you can always find the reasons not to dive into that pool head first. It may just take a little extra effort to get there.
Do you struggle with gaining perspective? Do you get so caught up in the details that you forget to look at the bigger picture? Please leave a comment or join the discussion on the Tiny Steps Mommy Facebook page.